Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NEWS: Paranormal Activity 2 Coming Soon?!?

It seems like one train that just can’t be stopped is the train driven by Oren Peli, and it consists of his $15,000 indie, Paranormal Activity. With the film reaching $85 million in domestic gross, his film is easily one of cinemas biggest stories from this year, and it may be one of the biggest stories of next year too, if the film maker has his way.

Shot in a week at Peli’s home, PA has been scaring the shit out of audiences for about two months now, in what has been called one of the most inventive and impactful release patterns in cinema. Now it looks like Paramount hopes to feed off of that huge buzz, and bring it over into the much rumored and talked about sequel. Here’s the scoop from The Hollywood Reporter, via The Playlist:

It appears that the success of the film - it has grossed $85 million to date and is Paramount's biggest profit maker this year - has earned the attention of Viacom (who own Paramount Pictures) CEO Philippe Dauman. In an earning's call on Tuesday, while smartly noting that the breakout success of the film can't be duplicated, Dauman said, "Our team will come up with the right creative and marketing approach to make sure that we benefit from a sequel."

Translation? You can probably bet on "Paranormal Activity 2" being ready in time for Hallowe'en 2010. The "right creative and marketing approach" probably boils down to: don't spend a lot of money, do a lot of low-cost viral marketing and advertise to the core audience. It's a process that Lionsgate already has down to a science with the "Saw" franchise.

So, as many of you know, I hate remakes, and in many cases, sequels are equally as bad. This is one of those cases in my eyes. Instead of coming off of the success of this film and say, getting his area 51 film done by next year, we will see a useless sequel, which will probably tread the same ground as the first film. I have had my respect for PA grow over time, but overall, I don’t see the need for a sequel, particularly with how the first film ended. If the ending was a bit more ambiguous, sure, but it seemed to close a bit more Hollywood and a bit more solid, that it really doesn’t leave much room for a sequel. Sure, the marketing is going to be great and fun, but really, take a look at the Saw franchise for why I don’t think this will work really at all.

The report continues and mentions that Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick are set to pitch Blair Witch 3, and it is an interesting comparison between PA and Blair Witch, one that I think, with the 10 year anniversary of BW here, I may have to revisit and do an editorial on. It’s also going to be interesting to see what other micro-budget horror films get pushed into production to play off of PA’s success. Could this be the new fad, taking the place of torture porn?

Go see something good!

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